If you’re someone who has been intrigued by the increasing popularity and production of electric vehicles and the ever-evolving style of them, but don’t really know if they’re for you, Volvo‘s newest car, its smallest and most affordable SUV yet, is about to have you trading in your gas card for a plug.
The EX30 is a fully electric car with a good price (starting at $34,950), but it is a premium car nonetheless. That means it has all the qualities that have made Volvo, the Swedish brand, a trusted one since 1927. There is a focus on safety. Every part in the car has a purpose. Sustainability is at the forefront. But in addition to all that, the brand has also managed to even add details that prioritize wellness and buyer concerns, making it a smaller car to meet the demand of U.S. consumers weary of overgrown SUVs.
During a press drive in early November in Barcelona, a group of lifestyle experts, myself included, had the chance to see, touch, and most importantly, drive the EX30 through the streets of Spain. Here’s everything you should know about this chic and sustainable set of wheels.
My first thoughts were of the design. That’s a given right? But seriously, this car is a beauty. It’s available (depending on if you get the core, plus or ultra, which means different levels of features at different price points) in shades that I haven’t seen before. As broken down by Katharina Sachs, exterior lead designer for the EX30, the brightest hues include a Moss Yellow inspired by a Swedish rock, and a Cloud Blue that in the right sunny light (which was present daily during my time in Barcelona), can play tricks on the eyes. Is it white? Is it giving blue? It’s cloud! I’d also never seen a car with a front like the EX30. Instead of the ever-popular grill look, this SUV has a shield with the Volvo logo embossed on it where air currents and sensors are held. Even the rims are cool thanks to the futuristic design, a look that also can be found in the innovative LED headlights.
Inside the car, to bring that sustainability into the mix, second life has been given to a variety of materials and waste has been reduced in everything. For instance, some of the yarn used for the seating comes from recycled polyester PET bottles. There’s also pine in the upholstery, natural and responsibly sourced wool, upcycled denim, as well as recycled window frames that offer a starry night type of look for the dashboard and top surface of the doors, depending what decor (or “room”) you choose for your interior. Also important to note, the car has a CO footprint smaller than its body (which is quite compact).
In addition to having an impressive panoramic sunroof, the headroom to look up at it, and not feel squashed in the car makes a ride in the EX30 all the more comfortable. And in regards to wellness, as I mentioned, Volvo decided to switch up the interior light trend found around dashboards by offering lights that are all about setting a mood. Inspired by Swedish nature again, they have lighting options, or “themes,” to help you feel calm amid commutes and traffic (but not make you fall sleepy). They do so by flowing rather than just staying on, glaring. You can change the ambiance from soft blue to purple to green using the center display.
While we had the chance to test out the cars using key cards reminiscent of what you’re given to get into your office, the EX30, like other new, high-tech vehicles, actually has a key found in your phone. The idea behind that, which was explained to me by Joakim Hermansson (photo below), vehicle product lead for the EX30, is to help not only give you one less thing to hold in your hands, but also to aid in allowing others to access the car without having to pass around a key fob that can easily be lost. No longer want a loved one to have access? You can remove that ability through the manufacturer app.
And have you ever seen a glove compartment in the center of the car? Not until now. Instead of making you lean over when you need to get things out of there, from registration cards (You? Speeding? Never!) to precious items or, hey, maybe gloves, the compartment has been relocated to the center for an easier reach.
And speaking of precious items and centers, there is an area under the center console that can also hold important things (and be covered to avoid the eyes of the nosy), where you will also find some additional charging ports for USB-C gadgets. And instead of there being a massive center console with two big cup holders, which is usually the standard, the EX30 has an option for you to push on the cup holder for it to come out, allowing some space to be saved and for things to be more open between you and your front-seat passenger. There’s also a soundbar, by Harman Kardon, for deeper listening experiences to tunes, podcasts and more (ask Google to play what you want as it’s built-in). And you may not notice this, but I couldn’t help but see that the air vents don’t look like the usual ones in cars. Instead, with their focus on using less materials to save waste, the vents have a very unique design to give you the air/or heat straight from its source.
Technical Touches and Safety
For those focused on how a car operates of course, while this vehicle is all about making the world a better place, for those with a need for speed, you can still be satisfied. The EX30 can go from 0 to 100 in 3.6 seconds.
The key to speed is the motor. And consumers have the option of picking a single motor for the car, or twin motors depending on your needs and wants. And for those new to charging, which you can do at home if you have a home outlet or at charging stations near you (they can be found in mall parking lots, and the EX30 can be used at Tesla charging stations as well), the car goes from a 0 battery to 100 percent in eight hours.
The features found in their larger SUVs are still found in this compact car. That includes a focus on safety. Innovative ways the car keeps you from trouble include park pilot assistant to help you get in tight spaces in garages and stay in tight lanes on the road. It also keeps you in the know about your surroundings, from an overhead camera to the interface letting you know what’s coming up beside you (showing you teeny models of the biker on your left or the semi-truck on your right). And if you’re someone easily distracted by views around you, the car will tell you, literally, with an alert that shows up on the center display, that you need to keep your eyes on the road, sis.
There’s obviously more to learn about this new set of wheels, but that’s for you to seek out at a Volvo dealership near you. But after a few days getting to be behind the wheel, I can say this car has a little bit of everything for today’s buyer, specifically women. It’s stylish, it’s sustainable, it is spacious in innovative ways for you and your kids, safety is still a top priority, and there’s a desire to center wellness through small but important details. And it’s 2023. Who has time for these inflated gas prices anymore? This might be your call to go electric.
So if you’re in the market for a new car, do your research on the EX30, which already has a high demand based on preorders. That being said, get in it while you can, or be prepared to watch it fly past you on the highway, in dreamy hues of mossy yellows and pale blues, all summer 2024.
You can reserve the EX30, customizing your car, starting now. Deliveries are expected to begin in the summer of 2024. Learn more at Volvocars.com.